My mom was visiting me this weekend and we whipped this up for our faux-Thanksgiving meal. This is a great idea for a Sunday dinner or as an alternative to a turkey or steak for a special occasion.
Slow Cooker Wine Braised Short Ribs with Goat Cheese Polenta and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
3-4 lbs short ribs, cut about 1 1/2" thick (about 8-10 pieces)
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 - 14 oz can diced or chopped tomatoes
2 cups dry red wine (like Chianti, Cabernet or Burgundy - whatever you like)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup corn meal
4-6 oz. goat cheese
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
4 1/2 cups water
1 lb Brussels sprouts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
In a large saute pan or cast iron skillet, heat the oil over med-high heat. Salt and pepper the short ribs on all sides. Add to the skillet and sear on each side until slightly browned all around. Remove to crock pot. Add garlic and onions to skillet and saute until soft. Add the can of tomatoes and the wine and heat/stir until just boiling. Add to crock pot with the meat. Set slow cooker to low heat and cook for about 6 1/2 hours. Go out and get your hair done or go see a movie while the magical crock pot cooks your dinner for you!
Later that day...
At the 6 hour mark start your sides.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash and drain the sprouts. Cut the ends and dirty leaves off and cut each sprout in half. Line a baking sheet with foil (easy clean up) and spread the cut sprouts on the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper (I eyeball the amounts - use what makes you happy) and toss to coat.
Add the sheet to the hot oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the 4.5 cups of water to a saucepan and heat to boiling. Once boiling, pour in the corn meal in a thin stream while whisking feverishly (just kidding, just whisk continuously or the corn will stick to the bottom). Turn the heat down to med-low or low and simmer them from this point for about 15 minutes, whisking occasionally. If the polenta starts to look too thick, add a couple tablespoons of water. After the 15 minutes add the goat cheese, butter and parsley and stir until melted/incorporated. Add the black pepper to taste. Leave on low heat until ready to serve.
Remove the ribs from the crock pot and place on your serving platter and cover with foil. The meat should be literally falling off the bones at this point. Strain out the tomatoes and onions from the crock pot and return the remaining sauce back into a saute or sauce pan. Heat the liquid to a slow boil and whisk in the tomato paste. Lower the heat to a simmer and whisk occasionally about 6-8 minutes until the sauce is reduced to about 1 cup. Serve right over the meat or in a small gravy dish on the side.
Serve the short ribs over the polenta with the sprouts on the side. Drink lots of wine. Enjoy!
(The short rib recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine and the goat cheese polenta recipe from the Pioneer Woman on The Food Network.)